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Superb article on the Pro12 and Europe

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Superb article on the Pro12 and Europe - Page 2 Empty Superb article on the Pro12 and Europe

Post by Chunky Norwich Sun 22 Nov 2015, 11:59 am

First topic message reminder :

https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/the-declining-power-of-pro12-in-europe/

We are only a few games in to the new European Champions Cup tournament but already we have seen the best the Pro12 can offer being humbled by their French and English counterparts.

The reigning Pro12 champions Glasgow Warriors lost at home to Northampton Saints, Ulster were humbled at the Kingspan to Saracens while down in Llanelli not even a farcical red card awarded to a Racing Metro player could even up the tie as the Scarlets were defeated to effectively end their hopes in this year’s competition.



The decline in the Pro12

Things are not looking good on the Pro12 front. Last year the Pro12 provided just one team for the quarter finals but we could potentially find ourselves in the situation towards the end of the season where we have an all Anglo-French quarter final line up. This isn’t good for the game in the northern hemisphere.

As the graph below shows, the Pro12 has consistently contributed at least two of the tournament’s quarter finalists – usually Irish teams, with the dominance of Leinster and Munster being augmented by a recently resurgent Ulster.

The other noticeable trend is the drop off in Welsh representation post the 2009/10 season, save for Cardiff Blues’ appearance in the 2011/12 quarter final.

Heineken quarters



To be a strong and popular tournament the European Champions Cup needs as many teams and nations to be competitive as it can. The way the club and regional rugby scene is evolving in Europe we are in serious danger of having the Pro12 teams from the 4 nations being uncompetitive at the top level in Europe.

We will now look at each Pro12 nation and their historical success and future prospects.



Ireland

Ireland has consistently provided strong teams that have had great success in Europe; in fact they have dominated the tournament in certain phases of its history.

Between the 2005/06 season and the 2011/12 season Ireland had 5 of the 7 winners of what was called the Heineken Cup – Munster winning it twice and Leinster 3 times. Ulster joined in on the act in 2012 when an all-Ireland affair in Twickenham saw Leinster take away the trophy for the third time.

But since that day in south west London the Euro bubble seems to have burst for the Irish teams. They have still contributed teams to the knock out stages but the last 3 finals have not contained a single Irish team; just Leinster made it to the quarter finals last year.

This year’s tournament hasn’t started particularly well either. Dai Young’s Wasps defeated Leinster convincingly in their own back yard last week and they followed that up with an away defeat at Bath while Ulster suffered a home defeat to Saracens.

Munster seem to be in a fairly rapid state of decline so they won’t relish having to come out of a group which contains Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais. If there is one team that raises its performances in European competition it is Munster but their form this season to date doesn’t bode well for progression out of the group.

It is conceivable there will be no Irish team in the quarter finals come April next year.



Italy

Since their introduction to the top tier of European rugby, Italian teams have always struggled to be competitive against Europe’s elite.

Benetton Treviso have made the best fist of the Italian clubs but even their record is fairly modest; in 18 full seasons of European rugby they have won just 19 games. A more depressing statistic is that in the last 10 full seasons they have only recorded 5 victories – Ospreys (H 14/15), Ospreys (H 12/13), Biarritz (H 11/12), Perpignan (H 9/10) and NG Dragons (A 7/8).

This season they have again found the going tough with heavy defeats away at Munster (32-7) and at home to Leicester (3-36).

Just a couple of seasons ago there were glimmers of hope that Treviso were starting to put together a team that could be more competitive. In the 2012/13 Pro12 season they finished a commendable 7th out of 12 teams – far above their traditional position in the bottom couple of spots.

Although they only notched up a single win, they came 2 minutes away from beating Leicester at home and put in two commendable performances against Toulouse.

Treviso rugby seemed on the up but a number of factors have conspired to put Treviso back to the bottom of the European pile.



Scotland

Scotland’s European representatives have also found it hard to make a lasting mark in  European rugby.

Glasgow Warriors’ recent improvements at the Pro12 level haven’t translated to success at European level and the reigning Pro12 champions already looking unlikely to progress beyond this year’s group stage following  a home defeat to Northampton Saints.

Since a solitary quarter final appearance in the early days of the Heineken Cup, Glasgow have failed to get out of their group in the top European competition.

Edinburgh have been slightly more successful with the highlight being a semi-final appearance in the 2011/12 season. This was an exceptional season for the team and represents the only time they have got out of the pool in the last 10 seasons.

They now play in the second tier European Challenge Cup.



Wales

It is a sad reality that the Welsh regions have not been troubling the latter stages of the top European competition since the 2011/12 season when the Cardiff Blues made it out of their pool before being thumped by Leinster 34-3 in the quarter final in Dublin.

Since then, the civil war within the Welsh game has conspired to reduce the strength of the regions to the point where they cannot compete against the powerhouse teams from France, England and Ireland.

It wasn’t that long ago that Cardiff Blues were ranked in the top seeds group for the Heineken Cup (the 2012/13 season) and just losing to Leicester in a penalty goal decided semi-final (2008/09),  but with the team now playing in the second tier Challenge Cup (and losing to Sale’s second team at home) a brighter future seems a long way off.

The Ospreys’ zenith came between 2007 and 2010 when they played 3 quarter finals but couldn’t quite make the leap to achieve a semi final spot. Since then their stock has fallen to the point where they finished last season with a comprehensive home defeat to Northampton Saints and followed this up with a humbling defeat to Treviso.

With the French giants Clermont in the Ospreys’ pool this year, progressing to the quarter finals will be a very difficult task.

Llanelli Scarlets have arguably been the best performing Welsh team in Europe over the years with a semi-final spot in the 2006/07 season their highlight. The Scarlets recent performances though have mirrored the pattern in the other Welsh teams – a gradual decline to the point where they are not expected to make the knock out stages of the top European competition.



With two teams in the second tier competition and the Ospreys and Scarlets struggling in the Champions Cup, having a Welsh region get to the quarter finals of the Champions Cup looks unlikely for the foreseeable future.



Can the decline be halted?

There are probably two main factors at play which is driving the changes we are seeing.

The first is that the Pro12 teams have large numbers of players that have been away on international duty and therefore it will take longer for them to integrate back in to the domestic set up. This is particularly true for the likes of Glasgow, Leinster and the Ospreys who effectively contribute their first team squad to international duty.

A constant theme on theblitzdefence articles is the balance between a strong domestic league and ensuring a competitive national team. It is no coincidence that over the past few years the Welsh and Irish national teams have been strong because they have been given prominence over the regional teams, while the opposite is true in England and France.

The second factor, which is more structural, is we are seeing the impact of the asymmetrical distribution of money and resources across the European leagues filtering through to the performances on the field.

The obvious examples are the huge playing squads and resources of the French teams which means they can mop up some of the best players in the world and have benches that are as strong as some teams first XV. It is not surprising that these teams are beating those with much smaller budgets.

Those teams with the money and the ability to generate more income will be in the big markets of France and England. They have the benefit of wealthy investors, large domestic markets and with that comes TV deals and more money.

It is difficult to see the Pro12 teams competing with the growing financial muscle of France and England given their respective populations and wealth, in fact we would go as far to say it will be impossible to compete if the current trends continue.

The only possible means of keeping up with the big nations’ financial clout is the emergence of a UK-Irish league which would include the Pro12 nations and allow them to share in the wealth that comes from the larger market.

Until that time comes (if it ever does) expect to see the continued gradual decline in the competitiveness of the Pro12 teams at the top European table. The ladder is being pulled up and the Pro12 needs to find a way to quickly grab hold before they are left too far behind.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 22 Nov 2015, 8:33 pm

No it wouldn't benefit English clubs financially. Silly to argue otherwise.

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 22 Nov 2015, 8:35 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:No it wouldn't benefit English clubs financially. Silly to argue otherwise.

Agreed.

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Post by The Great Aukster Sun 22 Nov 2015, 8:36 pm

Silly to argue full stop.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 22 Nov 2015, 8:36 pm

True!

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Post by Irish Londoner Sun 22 Nov 2015, 9:28 pm

As per all Chunks previous posts on this matter, the one question that cannot be answered is what benefits a B & I league would bring to the English clubs ?
The higher end teams - Bath, Saracens, Tigers, etc. are not going to welcome the chance of increased competition from possibly financially refreshed clubs and the lower end sides - LI, Worcester, Sale, Newcastle are not going to be happy about moving even further down the pecking order.
There may come a time when the big PRL teams want to dump the bottom half teams but it will be to join with the French powerhouses not the Celtic ones.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Sun 22 Nov 2015, 9:36 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:As per all Chunks previous posts on this matter, the one question that cannot be answered is what benefits a B & I league would bring to the English clubs ?
.

Another one that's answered here https://www.606v2.com/t57753-a-british-irish-league

The whole thing would bring more money, better players, better structure, better academies, better youngsters, better facilities, bigger crowds and on and on and on.

It has simply got to happen if British and Irish rugby is to survive.

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 22 Nov 2015, 9:52 pm

You really think that would raise more than double what the Premiership does now? And compensate for the drop in European money due to the B&I being so similar?

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Post by broadlandboy Sun 22 Nov 2015, 9:56 pm

Chunky So you think that someone would more than double the present English income with an increase ofb only a 1/4 increase in possible population.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Sun 22 Nov 2015, 9:58 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:You really think that would raise more than double what the Premiership does now? And compensate for the drop in European money due to the B&I being so similar?

Yes. Plenty of people didn't think the Rugby Champions Cup had a chance of coming into existence.

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 22 Nov 2015, 9:58 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:You really think that would raise more than double what the Premiership does now? And compensate for the drop in European money due to the B&I being so similar?

I guess he thinks that - but he is wrong.

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:06 pm

Chunky Norwich wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:You really think that would raise more than double what the Premiership does now? And compensate for the drop in European money due to the B&I being so similar?

Yes. Plenty of people didn't think the Rugby Champions Cup had a chance of coming into existence.

Worst comeback ever. Completely irrelevant.

Champions Cup was inevitable as soon as BT offered the money and English and French clubs gave the statutory notice to resign from ERC. That officials thought they were bluffing was admittedly rather short sighted.


However BT paid well over the odds for AP and EPCR as it is. They are at the max they are willing to pay for Club rugby. It is unlikely that a B&I league would generate significantly more money than already paid by BT and Sky while highly likely that any increase would be offset by a decrease in revenue from Europe TV deals.


I do fear that a european SuperLeague is inevitable - if Wray and Craig can persuade the french.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:10 pm

The chances of there not being a Top14 competition in the near future are slim. It's an institution in France.

The talk of a British and Irish League is gathering momentum. As this week (and the links in this thread) prove. I guess we'll find out in a few seasons.

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:21 pm

Chunky Norwich wrote:The talk of a British and Irish League is gathering momentum. As this week (and the links in this thread) prove. I guess we'll find out in a few seasons.

Only from people who think they have something to gain so really just some comments from Welsh regions, or Welsh writers talking about Irish rugby.

the people who you want to fund this (TV companies) and the people whose clubs provide the bulk of the TV audience and thus revenues (PRL) are not talking about this.


If there is a proposal for a B&I league that doubles revenues for one set of clubs, you can be pretty damn sure that all participants will want their revenues doubled. Thus leaving poorer clubs just as fecked as they are now.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:25 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Only from people who think they have something to gain so really just some comments from Welsh regions, or Welsh writers talking about Irish rugby.


And Irish press/former players.

That's good enough for me at the moment. 3 weeks ago I was told that it was only me that was putting the idea forward. So we are getting there.

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Post by VinceWLB Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:27 pm

Weren't there talks of a BI tournament super rugby style after the failure of NH teams during the WC? Or i must be imagining things.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:31 pm

Back to the point about this being club rugby not international.

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:38 pm

VinceWLB wrote:Weren't there talks of a BI tournament super rugby style after the failure of NH teams during the WC? Or i must be imagining things.

From Cardiff's CEO I think and he was talking about a NH Super Rugby Comp.

I can see the attraction for Pro12 sides in a B&I comp, as unable to support a strong and professional domestic comp they have already gone most of the way to a B&I league.

I cannot see the attraction for English clubs, as like France, we are able to support a domestic league. Add in the fact that any B&I league would probably spell the end of the current Euro tournaments and I just cannot see there being the wherewithal to do this.


A euro super XV is however s distinct possibility. It would require a complete restructuring of the season - but would be the only way we can move towards a global season. Such a tournament would leave a lot of losers though - and if it happened would probably consist of the following breakdown of teams:


Bath
Belfast
Cardiff
Coventry
Dublin
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Londonx2
Parisx2
Rome
Toulon
Toulouse
+1 Other, probably French.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 23 Nov 2015, 12:40 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
VinceWLB wrote:Weren't there talks of a BI tournament super rugby style after the failure of NH teams during the WC? Or i must be imagining things.

From Cardiff's CEO I think and he was talking about a NH Super Rugby Comp.

I can see the attraction for Pro12 sides in a B&I comp, as unable to support a strong and professional domestic comp they have already gone most of the way to a B&I league.

I cannot see the attraction for English clubs, as like France, we are able to support a domestic league. Add in the fact that any B&I league would probably spell the end of the current Euro tournaments and I just cannot see there being the wherewithal to do this.


A euro super XV is however s distinct possibility. It would require a complete restructuring of the season - but would be the only way we can move towards a global season. Such a tournament would leave a lot of losers though - and if it happened would probably consist of the following breakdown of teams:


Bath
Belfast
Cardiff
Coventry
Dublin
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Londonx2
Parisx2
Rome
Toulon
Toulouse
+1 Other, probably French.

Interesting - what informed your selection of those locations/teams? By Dublin, do you mean Leinster, or do you see a new team/franchise being created? I agree with you about it leaving a lot of losers - for example, I can't see Munster being left out in the cold given their European pedigree and travelling fan numbers (although they have declined somewhat in recent times). And no Leicester?
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Nov 2015, 1:20 pm

It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.



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Post by rodders Mon 23 Nov 2015, 1:53 pm

Chunky Norwich wrote:https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/the-declining-power-of-pro12-in-europe/

We are only a few games in to the new European Champions Cup tournament but already we have seen the best the Pro12 can offer being humbled by their French and English counterparts.

The reigning Pro12 champions Glasgow Warriors lost at home to Northampton Saints, Ulster were humbled at the Kingspan to Saracens while down in Llanelli not even a farcical red card awarded to a Racing Metro player could even up the tie as the Scarlets were defeated to effectively end their hopes in this year’s competition.



The decline in the Pro12

Things are not looking good on the Pro12 front. Last year the Pro12 provided just one team for the quarter finals but we could potentially find ourselves in the situation towards the end of the season where we have an all Anglo-French quarter final line up. This isn’t good for the game in the northern hemisphere.

As the graph below shows, the Pro12 has consistently contributed at least two of the tournament’s quarter finalists – usually Irish teams, with the dominance of Leinster and Munster being augmented by a recently resurgent Ulster.

The other noticeable trend is the drop off in Welsh representation post the 2009/10 season, save for Cardiff Blues’ appearance in the 2011/12 quarter final.

Heineken quarters



To be a strong and popular tournament the European Champions Cup needs as many teams and nations to be competitive as it can. The way the club and regional rugby scene is evolving in Europe we are in serious danger of having the Pro12 teams from the 4 nations being uncompetitive at the top level in Europe.

We will now look at each Pro12 nation and their historical success and future prospects.



Ireland

Ireland has consistently provided strong teams that have had great success in Europe; in fact they have dominated the tournament in certain phases of its history.

Between the 2005/06 season and the 2011/12 season Ireland had 5 of the 7 winners of what was called the Heineken Cup – Munster winning it twice and Leinster 3 times. Ulster joined in on the act in 2012 when an all-Ireland affair in Twickenham saw Leinster take away the trophy for the third time.

But since that day in south west London the Euro bubble seems to have burst for the Irish teams. They have still contributed teams to the knock out stages but the last 3 finals have not contained a single Irish team; just Leinster made it to the quarter finals last year.

This year’s tournament hasn’t started particularly well either. Dai Young’s Wasps defeated Leinster convincingly in their own back yard last week and they followed that up with an away defeat at Bath while Ulster suffered a home defeat to Saracens.

Munster seem to be in a fairly rapid state of decline so they won’t relish having to come out of a group which contains Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais. If there is one team that raises its performances in European competition it is Munster but their form this season to date doesn’t bode well for progression out of the group.

It is conceivable there will be no Irish team in the quarter finals come April next year.



Italy

Since their introduction to the top tier of European rugby, Italian teams have always struggled to be competitive against Europe’s elite.

Benetton Treviso have made the best fist of the Italian clubs but even their record is fairly modest; in 18 full seasons of European rugby they have won just 19 games. A more depressing statistic is that in the last 10 full seasons they have only recorded 5 victories – Ospreys (H 14/15), Ospreys (H 12/13), Biarritz (H 11/12), Perpignan (H 9/10) and NG Dragons (A 7/8).

This season they have again found the going tough with heavy defeats away at Munster (32-7) and at home to Leicester (3-36).

Just a couple of seasons ago there were glimmers of hope that Treviso were starting to put together a team that could be more competitive. In the 2012/13 Pro12 season they finished a commendable 7th out of 12 teams – far above their traditional position in the bottom couple of spots.

Although they only notched up a single win, they came 2 minutes away from beating Leicester at home and put in two commendable performances against Toulouse.

Treviso rugby seemed on the up but a number of factors have conspired to put Treviso back to the bottom of the European pile.



Scotland

Scotland’s European representatives have also found it hard to make a lasting mark in  European rugby.

Glasgow Warriors’ recent improvements at the Pro12 level haven’t translated to success at European level and the reigning Pro12 champions already looking unlikely to progress beyond this year’s group stage following  a home defeat to Northampton Saints.

Since a solitary quarter final appearance in the early days of the Heineken Cup, Glasgow have failed to get out of their group in the top European competition.

Edinburgh have been slightly more successful with the highlight being a semi-final appearance in the 2011/12 season. This was an exceptional season for the team and represents the only time they have got out of the pool in the last 10 seasons.

They now play in the second tier European Challenge Cup.



Wales

It is a sad reality that the Welsh regions have not been troubling the latter stages of the top European competition since the 2011/12 season when the Cardiff Blues made it out of their pool before being thumped by Leinster 34-3 in the quarter final in Dublin.

Since then, the civil war within the Welsh game has conspired to reduce the strength of the regions to the point where they cannot compete against the powerhouse teams from France, England and Ireland.

It wasn’t that long ago that Cardiff Blues were ranked in the top seeds group for the Heineken Cup (the 2012/13 season) and just losing to Leicester in a penalty goal decided semi-final (2008/09),  but with the team now playing in the second tier Challenge Cup (and losing to Sale’s second team at home) a brighter future seems a long way off.

The Ospreys’ zenith came between 2007 and 2010 when they played 3 quarter finals but couldn’t quite make the leap to achieve a semi final spot. Since then their stock has fallen to the point where they finished last season with a comprehensive home defeat to Northampton Saints and followed this up with a humbling defeat to Treviso.

With the French giants Clermont in the Ospreys’ pool this year, progressing to the quarter finals will be a very difficult task.

Llanelli Scarlets have arguably been the best performing Welsh team in Europe over the years with a semi-final spot in the 2006/07 season their highlight. The Scarlets recent performances though have mirrored the pattern in the other Welsh teams – a gradual decline to the point where they are not expected to make the knock out stages of the top European competition.



With two teams in the second tier competition and the Ospreys and Scarlets struggling in the Champions Cup, having a Welsh region get to the quarter finals of the Champions Cup looks unlikely for the foreseeable future.



Can the decline be halted?

There are probably two main factors at play which is driving the changes we are seeing.

The first is that the Pro12 teams have large numbers of players that have been away on international duty and therefore it will take longer for them to integrate back in to the domestic set up. This is particularly true for the likes of Glasgow, Leinster and the Ospreys who effectively contribute their first team squad to international duty.

A constant theme on theblitzdefence articles is the balance between a strong domestic league and ensuring a competitive national team. It is no coincidence that over the past few years the Welsh and Irish national teams have been strong because they have been given prominence over the regional teams, while the opposite is true in England and France.

The second factor, which is more structural, is we are seeing the impact of the asymmetrical distribution of money and resources across the European leagues filtering through to the performances on the field.

The obvious examples are the huge playing squads and resources of the French teams which means they can mop up some of the best players in the world and have benches that are as strong as some teams first XV. It is not surprising that these teams are beating those with much smaller budgets.

Those teams with the money and the ability to generate more income will be in the big markets of France and England. They have the benefit of wealthy investors, large domestic markets and with that comes TV deals and more money.

It is difficult to see the Pro12 teams competing with the growing financial muscle of France and England given their respective populations and wealth, in fact we would go as far to say it will be impossible to compete if the current trends continue.

The only possible means of keeping up with the big nations’ financial clout is the emergence of a UK-Irish league which would include the Pro12 nations and allow them to share in the wealth that comes from the larger market.

Until that time comes (if it ever does) expect to see the continued gradual decline in the competitiveness of the Pro12 teams at the top European table. The ladder is being pulled up and the Pro12 needs to find a way to quickly grab hold before they are left too far behind.

Yeah it is a superb article but its a pity they didn't use consistent size font throughout.
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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:03 pm

rodders wrote:
Chunky Norwich wrote:https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/the-declining-power-of-pro12-in-europe/

We are only a few games in to the new European Champions Cup tournament but already we have seen the best the Pro12 can offer being humbled by their French and English counterparts.

The reigning Pro12 champions Glasgow Warriors lost at home to Northampton Saints, Ulster were humbled at the Kingspan to Saracens while down in Llanelli not even a farcical red card awarded to a Racing Metro player could even up the tie as the Scarlets were defeated to effectively end their hopes in this year’s competition.



The decline in the Pro12

Things are not looking good on the Pro12 front. Last year the Pro12 provided just one team for the quarter finals but we could potentially find ourselves in the situation towards the end of the season where we have an all Anglo-French quarter final line up. This isn’t good for the game in the northern hemisphere.

As the graph below shows, the Pro12 has consistently contributed at least two of the tournament’s quarter finalists – usually Irish teams, with the dominance of Leinster and Munster being augmented by a recently resurgent Ulster.

The other noticeable trend is the drop off in Welsh representation post the 2009/10 season, save for Cardiff Blues’ appearance in the 2011/12 quarter final.

Heineken quarters



To be a strong and popular tournament the European Champions Cup needs as many teams and nations to be competitive as it can. The way the club and regional rugby scene is evolving in Europe we are in serious danger of having the Pro12 teams from the 4 nations being uncompetitive at the top level in Europe.

We will now look at each Pro12 nation and their historical success and future prospects.



Ireland

Ireland has consistently provided strong teams that have had great success in Europe; in fact they have dominated the tournament in certain phases of its history.

Between the 2005/06 season and the 2011/12 season Ireland had 5 of the 7 winners of what was called the Heineken Cup – Munster winning it twice and Leinster 3 times. Ulster joined in on the act in 2012 when an all-Ireland affair in Twickenham saw Leinster take away the trophy for the third time.

But since that day in south west London the Euro bubble seems to have burst for the Irish teams. They have still contributed teams to the knock out stages but the last 3 finals have not contained a single Irish team; just Leinster made it to the quarter finals last year.

This year’s tournament hasn’t started particularly well either. Dai Young’s Wasps defeated Leinster convincingly in their own back yard last week and they followed that up with an away defeat at Bath while Ulster suffered a home defeat to Saracens.

Munster seem to be in a fairly rapid state of decline so they won’t relish having to come out of a group which contains Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais. If there is one team that raises its performances in European competition it is Munster but their form this season to date doesn’t bode well for progression out of the group.

It is conceivable there will be no Irish team in the quarter finals come April next year.



Italy

Since their introduction to the top tier of European rugby, Italian teams have always struggled to be competitive against Europe’s elite.

Benetton Treviso have made the best fist of the Italian clubs but even their record is fairly modest; in 18 full seasons of European rugby they have won just 19 games. A more depressing statistic is that in the last 10 full seasons they have only recorded 5 victories – Ospreys (H 14/15), Ospreys (H 12/13), Biarritz (H 11/12), Perpignan (H 9/10) and NG Dragons (A 7/8).

This season they have again found the going tough with heavy defeats away at Munster (32-7) and at home to Leicester (3-36).

Just a couple of seasons ago there were glimmers of hope that Treviso were starting to put together a team that could be more competitive. In the 2012/13 Pro12 season they finished a commendable 7th out of 12 teams – far above their traditional position in the bottom couple of spots.

Although they only notched up a single win, they came 2 minutes away from beating Leicester at home and put in two commendable performances against Toulouse.

Treviso rugby seemed on the up but a number of factors have conspired to put Treviso back to the bottom of the European pile.



Scotland

Scotland’s European representatives have also found it hard to make a lasting mark in  European rugby.

Glasgow Warriors’ recent improvements at the Pro12 level haven’t translated to success at European level and the reigning Pro12 champions already looking unlikely to progress beyond this year’s group stage following  a home defeat to Northampton Saints.

Since a solitary quarter final appearance in the early days of the Heineken Cup, Glasgow have failed to get out of their group in the top European competition.

Edinburgh have been slightly more successful with the highlight being a semi-final appearance in the 2011/12 season. This was an exceptional season for the team and represents the only time they have got out of the pool in the last 10 seasons.

They now play in the second tier European Challenge Cup.



Wales

It is a sad reality that the Welsh regions have not been troubling the latter stages of the top European competition since the 2011/12 season when the Cardiff Blues made it out of their pool before being thumped by Leinster 34-3 in the quarter final in Dublin.

Since then, the civil war within the Welsh game has conspired to reduce the strength of the regions to the point where they cannot compete against the powerhouse teams from France, England and Ireland.

It wasn’t that long ago that Cardiff Blues were ranked in the top seeds group for the Heineken Cup (the 2012/13 season) and just losing to Leicester in a penalty goal decided semi-final (2008/09),  but with the team now playing in the second tier Challenge Cup (and losing to Sale’s second team at home) a brighter future seems a long way off.

The Ospreys’ zenith came between 2007 and 2010 when they played 3 quarter finals but couldn’t quite make the leap to achieve a semi final spot. Since then their stock has fallen to the point where they finished last season with a comprehensive home defeat to Northampton Saints and followed this up with a humbling defeat to Treviso.

With the French giants Clermont in the Ospreys’ pool this year, progressing to the quarter finals will be a very difficult task.

Llanelli Scarlets have arguably been the best performing Welsh team in Europe over the years with a semi-final spot in the 2006/07 season their highlight. The Scarlets recent performances though have mirrored the pattern in the other Welsh teams – a gradual decline to the point where they are not expected to make the knock out stages of the top European competition.



With two teams in the second tier competition and the Ospreys and Scarlets struggling in the Champions Cup, having a Welsh region get to the quarter finals of the Champions Cup looks unlikely for the foreseeable future.



Can the decline be halted?

There are probably two main factors at play which is driving the changes we are seeing.

The first is that the Pro12 teams have large numbers of players that have been away on international duty and therefore it will take longer for them to integrate back in to the domestic set up. This is particularly true for the likes of Glasgow, Leinster and the Ospreys who effectively contribute their first team squad to international duty.

A constant theme on theblitzdefence articles is the balance between a strong domestic league and ensuring a competitive national team. It is no coincidence that over the past few years the Welsh and Irish national teams have been strong because they have been given prominence over the regional teams, while the opposite is true in England and France.

The second factor, which is more structural, is we are seeing the impact of the asymmetrical distribution of money and resources across the European leagues filtering through to the performances on the field.

The obvious examples are the huge playing squads and resources of the French teams which means they can mop up some of the best players in the world and have benches that are as strong as some teams first XV. It is not surprising that these teams are beating those with much smaller budgets.

Those teams with the money and the ability to generate more income will be in the big markets of France and England. They have the benefit of wealthy investors, large domestic markets and with that comes TV deals and more money.

It is difficult to see the Pro12 teams competing with the growing financial muscle of France and England given their respective populations and wealth, in fact we would go as far to say it will be impossible to compete if the current trends continue.


The only possible means of keeping up with the big nations’ financial clout is the emergence of a UK-Irish league which would include the Pro12 nations and allow them to share in the wealth that comes from the larger market.

Until that time comes (if it ever does) expect to see the continued gradual decline in the competitiveness of the Pro12 teams at the top European table. The ladder is being pulled up and the Pro12 needs to find a way to quickly grab hold before they are left too far behind.

Yeah it is a superb article but its a pity they didn't use consistent size font throughout.

I don't know.  I think the article suits it.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:10 pm

It makes me laugh, it really does. Look I know chunky can come across as a bit over the top on times, but this article that was posted is very debatable. So how can it be that the many on here are calling for his head for bringing it up ? People are asking for him to be banned ect. That should be done with a PM to the MODS by the way.

For me I do think it is a worry that the teams in the Pro12 cannot compete with the English or French. Chunky has given an idea for us to improve, yet everyone else has taken it upon themselves to rubbish him and call him a troll.

Well, come on then, if a B&I league is not viable, then give us your ideas to make us more competitive with the French and English.

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Post by TJ Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:16 pm

He is a troll because all his postings are negative, foolish and designed to stir up argument.  He is an utter pest on these boards and it would be better if he wasn't here  Thats why he is called out for his continual trolling.

As for the article - its completely stupid - a nonsensical idea that will never happen and is only a good idea in the minds of a deluded few.

It would be by far the best if everyone simply ignored chunky and refused to comment on any posts he makes

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Post by rodders Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:18 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Well, come on then, if a B&I league is not viable, then give us your ideas to make us more competitive with the French and English.

Kicking out Treviso and Zebre would be a start.

Beyond that each team needs to buck up their individual ideas. Ospreys have been impressive though.
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Post by Sin é Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:18 pm

LondonTiger wrote:It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.

Eh, Munster would be top of the list. Best travelling support in the world with a huge diaspara living in the UK to fill their grounds. Which is what the likes of Saracens & Bath would find very, very attractive.





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Post by LordDowlais Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:19 pm

TJ wrote:He is a troll because all his postings are negative, foolish and designed to stir up argument.  He is an utter pest on these boards and it would be better if he wasn't here  Thats why he is called out for his continual trolling.

As for the article - its completely stupid - a nonsensical idea that will never happen and is only a good idea in the minds of a deluded few.

It would be by far the best if everyone simply ignored chunky and refused to comment on any posts he makes

Why not just contribute to the debate though ? Nothing he has posted on this debate has been provocative. What would you do to improve our chances with competing with the French and English ?

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Post by whocares Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:21 pm

LondonTiger wrote:

Bath
Belfast
Cardiff
Coventry
Dublin
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Londonx2
Parisx2
Rome
Toulon
Toulouse
+1 Other, probably French.

back in ye olde amateur days, we had "regions " in France who are basically geographical separation made up by the FFR (called "comités") and often the likes of the ABs used to play some of them (comité basque-landes, comité côtes d'azur) in between test matches against France. If I were to chose 5 french franchises I would then go for :
- "Guyenne" : comité côte d'argent , basque-landes , Perigord-Agenais and up to La Rochelle - games played between Bordeaux and Biarritz
-  "Occitanie" : Pyrénees+ Languedoc  ie from Toulouse to Montpelier including Perpignan
-  Auvergne-Limousin : Clermont, Brive, Aurillac etc
- Comité Cote d'azur : essentially Toulon plus all clubs from the south east with some games played in Marseille
- Something in Paris
Obviously this ship has sailed and professionalism is now in the hands of clubs (because at the time Lapasset at the FFR didnt want it so let the clubs decide their own thing) so way too late to change anything. I'd still like to have a couple of one off games between those teams in a State of Origin kind of way...

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:33 pm

Sin é wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.

Eh, Munster would be top of the list. Best travelling support in the world with a huge diaspara living in the UK to fill their grounds. Which is what the likes of Saracens & Bath would find very, very attractive.



The organisers would believe they could fill their grounds with British based Irish for both Dublin and Belfast based franchises. In a 15 team format I struggle to see them allowing the Irish any more than two franchises.

But it is all conjecture on my part.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:37 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Sin é wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.

Eh, Munster would be top of the list. Best travelling support in the world with a huge diaspara living in the UK to fill their grounds. Which is what the likes of Saracens & Bath would find very, very attractive.



The organisers would believe they could fill their grounds with British based Irish for both Dublin and Belfast based franchises. In a 15 team format I struggle to see them allowing the Irish any more than two franchises.

But it is all conjecture on my part.  

Who the hell is 'them'? The Illuminati?

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:38 pm

LordDowlais wrote:It makes me laugh, it really does. Look I know chunky can come across as a bit over the top on times, but this article that was posted is very debatable. So how can it be that the many on here are calling for his head for bringing it up ? People are asking for him to be banned ect. That should be done with a PM to the MODS by the way.

For me I do think it is a worry that the teams in the Pro12 cannot compete with the English or French. Chunky has given an idea for us to improve, yet everyone else has taken it upon themselves to rubbish him and call him a troll.

Well, come on then, if a B&I league is not viable, then give us your ideas to make us more competitive with the French and English.

Who the hell is 'us'?

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:42 pm

SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:It makes me laugh, it really does. Look I know chunky can come across as a bit over the top on times, but this article that was posted is very debatable. So how can it be that the many on here are calling for his head for bringing it up ? People are asking for him to be banned ect. That should be done with a PM to the MODS by the way.

For me I do think it is a worry that the teams in the Pro12 cannot compete with the English or French. Chunky has given an idea for us to improve, yet everyone else has taken it upon themselves to rubbish him and call him a troll.

Well, come on then, if a B&I league is not viable, then give us your ideas to make us more competitive with the French and English.

Who the hell is 'us'?

US, as in the Pro12, Wales, Scotland Ireland and Italy, or is it just exclusive for the Irish ?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:45 pm

SecretFly wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:

The organisers would believe they could fill their grounds with British based Irish for both Dublin and Belfast based franchises. In a 15 team format I struggle to see them allowing the Irish any more than two franchises.

But it is all conjecture on my part.  


Who the hell is 'them'?  The Illuminati?


highlighted who "them" are. May as well be the Illuminati, though they are probably more benevolent than Wray/Craig/Mourad et al


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Post by HammerofThunor Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:46 pm

SecretFly wrote:Who the hell is 'them'?  The Illuminati?

Pretty much (or at least they'd like to think so). Bruce and Nigel.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:54 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:It makes me laugh, it really does. Look I know chunky can come across as a bit over the top on times, but this article that was posted is very debatable. So how can it be that the many on here are calling for his head for bringing it up ? People are asking for him to be banned ect. That should be done with a PM to the MODS by the way.

For me I do think it is a worry that the teams in the Pro12 cannot compete with the English or French. Chunky has given an idea for us to improve, yet everyone else has taken it upon themselves to rubbish him and call him a troll.

Well, come on then, if a B&I league is not viable, then give us your ideas to make us more competitive with the French and English.

Who the hell is 'us'?

US, as in the Pro12, Wales, Scotland Ireland and Italy, or is it just exclusive for the Irish ?

If the Pro12 ends, there is no 'us' even in a B&I context? Not in the sense you now describe it as anyway.  Would we all still fight as 'us' in a B&I League?  
We don't even do that now, when the Pro12 exists - and don't blame the Irish posters for that constant grudging, snarling attitude within Pro12 itself.

So don't give me 'us'.  There is no 'us' in the sense of Wales, Scotland, Italy and Ireland.  Nobody gives a Poopie about Italy.  Nobody worries about their survival in an 'us' context.

Why?  Because there is a concept of them not being 'us' amongst the more esoteric souls on this site.

My 'us' is Ulster, Connacht, Munster and Leinster.  That's my 'us' part of Pro12.  The Regions certainly showed how quickly they'd drop the 'us' part of the equation in the blink of an eye. So what again would be this 'us' section in a B&I League?

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Post by TJ Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:56 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
TJ wrote:He is a troll because all his postings are negative, foolish and designed to stir up argument.  He is an utter pest on these boards and it would be better if he wasn't here  Thats why he is called out for his continual trolling.

As for the article - its completely stupid - a nonsensical idea that will never happen and is only a good idea in the minds of a deluded few.

It would be by far the best if everyone simply ignored chunky and refused to comment on any posts he makes

Why not just contribute to the debate though ? Nothing he has posted on this debate has been provocative. What would you do to improve our chances with competing with the French and English ?

You have to look at it in context with the rest of his posting. He hates the pro 12 and the Irish, he only posts to denigrate both. this is a part of the pattern. there is no debate. Its a stupid idea that no one wants bar a few deluded souls like him.

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Post by Sin é Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:57 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Sin é wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.

Eh, Munster would be top of the list. Best travelling support in the world with a huge diaspara living in the UK to fill their grounds. Which is what the likes of Saracens & Bath would find very, very attractive.



The organisers would believe they could fill their grounds with British based Irish for both Dublin and Belfast based franchises. In a 15 team format I struggle to see them allowing the Irish any more than two franchises.

But it is all conjecture on my part.  

Mick Dawson (CEO of Leinster) has said that he has had some chat with English chairmen (I think Craig as Leinster had just played them last year) where he said that they would like a league with the Big 3 Irish Provinces.

Your theory of large surrounding population hasn't really worked out too well for Saracens or Wasps (when in London). I'm sure Wray would take that into account.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 2:59 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:

The organisers would believe they could fill their grounds with British based Irish for both Dublin and Belfast based franchises. In a 15 team format I struggle to see them allowing the Irish any more than two franchises.

But it is all conjecture on my part.  


Who the hell is 'them'?  The Illuminati?


highlighted who "them" are. May as well be the Illuminati, though they are probably more benevolent than Wray/Craig/Mourad et al

Let's not be too hasty about Mourad. Surprising how normal his players appear after the pharmacy raids. Let's not be too hasty with flavour of the month Wray and Craig either. They had 12 votes behind them the last time they moved on the chess board. Let's see what allies they have when they ask quite a few English clubs to sacrifice themselves to the greater good of the silk pockets of the gruesome twosome Wink

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Post by Chunky Norwich Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:02 pm

LondonTiger wrote:It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.


Interesting that you think there is more chance of an elite competition with a rugby team that is basically a merger of Wasps , Leicester and Saints than one with those separate teams competing. I'd love to survey the fans of those clubs and see what they think of that.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:06 pm

Chunky Norwich wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.


Interesting that you think there is more chance of an elite competition with a rugby team that is basically a merger of Wasps , Leicester and Saints than one with those separate teams competing. I'd love to survey the fans of those clubs and see what they think of that.

One of the reasons the 3rd pro team in Scotland's rugby heartlands the border reavers flopped. Too manly loyalties to Gala, Melrose, Kelso et al.

B&I idea fundamentally doesn't work because you will never get a club consensus that improves the fortunes of the majority en masse.

Someone will lose out under your proposed format and that's why it won't ever gain consensus.
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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:08 pm

"Someone will lose out under your proposed format and that's why it won't ever gain consensus."

He's certainly hoping so.


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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:08 pm

Chunky Norwich wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:It was purely guesswork, but if an NH Super XV style competition were to come about I feel there would be two drivers as to where the franchises would be:

1) The people with money who are pushing for it (Hence inclusion of Bath)
2) they would look for cities, or areas with enough population to support crowds in excess of 30k.


I really think that in such a situation Munster and Leicester would lose out. The Coventry based team would be representing the Midlands (so think of a Wasps, Leicester, Saints conglomerate), while the organisers would view Munster, and especially Limerick, as far too hicksville.


How each country would go about organising a domestic competition below this is anyones guess.


Interesting that you think there is more chance of an elite competition with a rugby team that is basically a merger of Wasps , Leicester and Saints than one with those separate teams competing. I'd love to survey the fans of those clubs and see what they think of that.


Neither Saints nor Leicester fans would support the idea. However if such an idea comes about it will be created as a "fait ccompli" and there will be no choice.

Leicester will just have to play in the level below, which I would follow instead.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:10 pm

SecretFly wrote:
If the Pro12 ends, there is no 'us' even in a B&I context? Not in the sense you now describe it as anyway. Would we all still fight as 'us' in a B&I League?
We don't even do that now, when the Pro12 exists - and don't blame the Irish posters for that constant grudging, snarling attitude within Pro12 itself.

So don't give me 'us'. There is no 'us' in the sense of Wales, Scotland, Italy and Ireland. Nobody gives a Poopie about Italy. Nobody worries about their survival in an 'us' context.

Why? Because there is a concept of them not being 'us' amongst the more esoteric souls on this site.

My 'us' is Ulster, Connacht, Munster and Leinster. That's my 'us' part of Pro12. The Regions certainly showed how quickly they'd drop the 'us' part of the equation in the blink of an eye. So what again would be this 'us' section in a B&I League?

That actually answers quite a lot more than you would ever care to admit for me. You say all that, then you have the bare faced cheek to say what you do about chunky. Oh the irony. No doubt I will have an around the houses riposte from you though, justifying your point of view, but there is really no need, you have said more than you ever could in that response above. OK

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:17 pm

LondonTiger wrote:


Neither Saints nor Leicester fans would support the idea. However if such an idea comes about it will be created as a "fait ccompli"  and there will be no choice.

Leicester will just have to play in the level below, which I would follow instead.

Hold on a sec, Tiger. I think you're jumping the gun a bit and probably why I mentioned the Illuminati. The bosses of two present teams will not dictate the construction and loyalties to a new system of conglomerate teams created out of the embers of already proud and historic clubs. They won't just step up and say "We command it so". They're naïve if they'd think that's a smooth sail even if they bring a bookload of facts and figures about profits and market share.

Em, you might look to the Welsh Regions actually a case in point of an idea of consolidation that has been backfiring and spluttering for many years now (with much resistance to the very idea of their creation very much still in the minds of traditional 'club' supporters).

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Post by HammerofThunor Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:34 pm

SecretFly wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:


Neither Saints nor Leicester fans would support the idea. However if such an idea comes about it will be created as a "fait ccompli"  and there will be no choice.

Leicester will just have to play in the level below, which I would follow instead.

Hold on a sec, Tiger.  I think you're jumping the gun a bit and probably why I mentioned the Illuminati.  The bosses of two present teams will not dictate the construction and loyalties to a new system of conglomerate teams created out of the embers of already proud and historic clubs.  They won't just step up and say "We command it so".  They're naïve if they'd think that's a smooth sail even if they bring a bookload of facts and figures about profits and market share.

Em, you might look to the Welsh Regions actually a case in point of an idea of consolidation that has been backfiring and spluttering for many years now (with much resistance to the very idea of their creation very much still in the minds of traditional 'club' supporters).

you seem to be slightly misreading him. He seems to be saying that Chunky is right that the fans would prefer the teams to be entered as separate teams, however they wouldn't have a choice. It would be the owners, competition organisers who make that decision and the fans would be stuffed. And then he said he would just have follow Leicester at level below. Pretty much exactly how the Regions came into being, with the same outcome.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 3:52 pm

LordDowlais wrote:

That actually answers quite a lot more than you would ever care to admit for me. You say all that, then you have the bare faced cheek to say what you do about chunky. Oh the irony. No doubt I will have an around the houses riposte from you though, justifying  your point of view, but there is really no need, you have said more than you ever could in that response above. OK

It says exactly what I've been saying openly for years.  You want me to cough some apology that I don't see a vision of myself reflected in Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Glasgow or Treviso?

Meanwhile, around the houses you go with your reasoning.  Only a few weeks ago, you were emoting concern that the Provinces had dragged the Pro12 to its knees by concentrating all their efforts on the big bad European contest in the Noughties - a contest that you actually recently said should be totally dropped from the calendar completely.  Today, you're heartily saddened that Pro12 sides are looking weak in Europe - bad omen for Pro12, you say.

Pro12 is an unfortunate old buzzard.  Damned when his sides are fighting hard in Europe, damned when they roll over and die in Europe. Any agenda will do that glides towards a British solution to all ills.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 23 Nov 2015, 4:00 pm

SecretFly wrote:Meanwhile, around the houses you go with your reasoning. Only a few weeks ago, you were emoting concern that the Provinces had dragged the Pro12 to its knees by concentrating all their efforts on the big bad European contest in the Noughties - a contest that you actually recently said should be totally dropped from the calendar completely. Today, you're heartily saddened that Pro12 sides are looking weak in Europe - bad omen for Pro12, you say.

You do not have to remind me of what I have said, and yes I would scrap the European competitions altogether, especially if it made the Pro12 stronger.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 4:03 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:


Neither Saints nor Leicester fans would support the idea. However if such an idea comes about it will be created as a "fait ccompli"  and there will be no choice.

Leicester will just have to play in the level below, which I would follow instead.

Hold on a sec, Tiger.  I think you're jumping the gun a bit and probably why I mentioned the Illuminati.  The bosses of two present teams will not dictate the construction and loyalties to a new system of conglomerate teams created out of the embers of already proud and historic clubs.  They won't just step up and say "We command it so".  They're naïve if they'd think that's a smooth sail even if they bring a bookload of facts and figures about profits and market share.

Em, you might look to the Welsh Regions actually a case in point of an idea of consolidation that has been backfiring and spluttering for many years now (with much resistance to the very idea of their creation very much still in the minds of traditional 'club' supporters).

you seem to be slightly misreading him.  He seems to be saying that Chunky is right that the fans would prefer the teams to be entered as separate teams, however they wouldn't have a choice.  It would be the owners, competition organisers who make that decision and the fans would be stuffed. And then he said he would just have follow Leicester at level below.  Pretty much exactly how the Regions came into being, with the same outcome.

I'm not misreading. I'm saying the fans would have a choice. Ask the Welsh posters here about the choices Welsh rugby fans have made through the years in distinguishing enthusiasm and support for old clubs whilst many raised two fingers to the imposed Regional concept. They made the choice over the years with their footfalls on the terraces or their bums on seats. And I guess, that's what's called market resistance to what looked a bright idea on paper. It's taken a long time to bed down.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Nov 2015, 4:09 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:


Neither Saints nor Leicester fans would support the idea. However if such an idea comes about it will be created as a "fait ccompli"  and there will be no choice.

Leicester will just have to play in the level below, which I would follow instead.

Hold on a sec, Tiger.  I think you're jumping the gun a bit and probably why I mentioned the Illuminati.  The bosses of two present teams will not dictate the construction and loyalties to a new system of conglomerate teams created out of the embers of already proud and historic clubs.  They won't just step up and say "We command it so".  They're naïve if they'd think that's a smooth sail even if they bring a bookload of facts and figures about profits and market share.

Em, you might look to the Welsh Regions actually a case in point of an idea of consolidation that has been backfiring and spluttering for many years now (with much resistance to the very idea of their creation very much still in the minds of traditional 'club' supporters).

you seem to be slightly misreading him.  He seems to be saying that Chunky is right that the fans would prefer the teams to be entered as separate teams, however they wouldn't have a choice.  It would be the owners, competition organisers who make that decision and the fans would be stuffed. And then he said he would just have follow Leicester at level below.  Pretty much exactly how the Regions came into being, with the same outcome.

Aye.

I feel if some such competition comes into play it will be because both the Unions want it - partly for global calendar reasons but also believing they need to ape the SH structure to match their International successes - and because there are some wealthy club owners with some serious media backing.

I really hope I am wrong.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Nov 2015, 4:13 pm

Fly,

The only choice I would have as a fan would be whether I supported a franchise, or my club in a lower competition. Though if we ended up with a structure similar to NZ where ITM cup is played at a different time to Super Rugby then actually I could do both. following Leicester in a lower tier competition and a London Franchise based at Olkympic Stadium could appeal.

As a fan, season ticket holder and sharholder at Leicester I would have no choice about whether my club could particpate in NH Super Comp.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 23 Nov 2015, 4:24 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Meanwhile, around the houses you go with your reasoning.  Only a few weeks ago, you were emoting concern that the Provinces had dragged the Pro12 to its knees by concentrating all their efforts on the big bad European contest in the Noughties - a contest that you actually recently said should be totally dropped from the calendar completely.  Today, you're heartily saddened that Pro12 sides are looking weak in Europe - bad omen for Pro12, you say.

You do not have to remind me of what I have said, and yes I would scrap the European competitions altogether, especially if it made the Pro12 stronger.

I do have to remind you what you said.  I find it effective in debating terms.  You'd rather I ignored inconsistencies in your posts.  If you have the 'bare faced cheek' to goad me then first cover your tracks and be more consistent in your opinions.   Cool

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